Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chronicles of Life … crying spell

It hit me while writing my latest obituary. Around this time last year I was writing my first one, except it wasn’t for a stranger.
My grandmother died one year ago today.
Time does fly, but I still feel the lost as if it just happened
That was one trip to Jacksonville I didn’t want to make. Then I didn’t want to leave when it was time to return to Hartwell.
I thought the tears would never stop coming.
I felt like life couldn’t go on and wanted to wallow in a dark abyss of sadness for the rest of my life.
“I have no one left in this world,” I remember telling one friend.
She quickly reminded me of my massive family.
“Are you serious?” she asked. “What about all those people at your graduation?”
Yes, even in sorrow I am overly dramatic.
At that time it seemed like the end of my world. I was a bucket of tears.
Then I thought about how my mom probably felt. That made me cry 10 times worse.
She took care of my granny throughout her battle with dementia. That is no easy task.
A lesser daughter would have probably run away from it or crumbled under the pressure. She was able to handle it with no complaints.
My mom set aside her own tears on many occasion.
I decided I wanted to be strong for her if nothing else. Yes, I had my moment, but I was OK at the funeral.
Even now I want to be strong for my mother.
It was hard at first because everything reminds of my granny. Certain hymns, the color green, even Florence my peace lily (I got it from the funeral).
I still think about her today, but surprisingly I don’t necessarily get teary-eyed every time.
Mainly memories of her make me smile.
It was the same way when my granddaddy died. I cried during the whole funeral and thought I couldn’t make it.
Now I take pleasure and solace in the sweet memories.
I know my mom has her fair share of sad moments. So I tell her to just let it flow, whether she’s at work, out in public or by herself.
Sometimes the person that’s normally the rock needs to turn into the waterfall. M mom and I have switched roles in that sense.
I still do have my crying spells. You know the ones where you can barely breathe and start hiccupping.
I let the tears fall for however long.
Just Saturday I was cleaning my house and saw a copy of the funeral program and obituary. Instantly I went into hysterics.
So for two hours I vacuumed and cried, swept and cried and washed dishes and cried. I even took a break from cleaning to cry some more.
Then as suddenly as it started, it stopped. Kind of like Florida rain showers.
It’s funny how that happens. Maybe its part of the healing process.
*No tears were hurt in the making of this note.*

The Hartwell Chronicles … Unprepared for the hearing impaired

Random situations seem to be a main stay in my life.
Some of them I know how to handle. Most of them I throw up my hands and say “I can’t be bothered.”
But there are a few I am just down right unprepared for.
Like when this random man came into the office ever so quietly.
I saw him walk up to a co-worker without saying a word. Sometimes I’m paranoid, so I thought he was about to shoot up the place.
Eventually I realized he was just giving him a card, and I went back to work.
Out the corner of my eye I noticed him giving everyone else a card.
“Oh he’s probably giving out business cards,” I thought.
I guess you could say it was in a sense.
He soon came to me and handed the “card.”
It was a card with an American flag pin attached to it. It read “I am a deaf person making my living by selling these pins. Please make a donation.”
He then walked off.
I was dumbfounded!
My co-worker called me and we both shared how we didn’t even know how to respond to this. I mean really, is this really a normal way of soliciting?
Soon we went back around to everyone and collected donations.
Then he got to me.
I hardly ever carry cash and wasn’t expecting for someone to solicit donations in the office.
So I sadly shook my head no. And he took the pin back!
I was definitely not prepared for that. For some strange reason I thought I would be able to keep it.
What’s more is I wanted it too. On the back was the alphabet in sign language.
I already know how to say “Do better” in sign language. I was going to learn how to say “I can’t be bothered.”
I thought about signing “do better” to the man just for soliciting.
But maybe I need to stop the hating. He made more money in 10 minutes than all of us.
I need to learn how to hustle like that too.
So I should be telling this with a sigh.
Somewhere ages and ages hence.
A hearing impaired man stopped by, and I
Had no money so he said goodbye
And that has made all the difference…
Too bad Robert Frost didn’t write any poems about being unprepared.